Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sovereignty is a myth

If David Rivkin, Jr. and Lee A. Casey believe the title of their opinion piece “Border Security equals Sovereignty” (8-14-08) they need a refresher course in reality. ‘Border security’ is a mythical ideal impossible to achieve in an increasingly and irreversibly interdependent world.
Federal officials might stop a few papers or laptop computers from crossing our border each month but the daily volume of dangerous information accessible on the world wide web, via emails or stuffed into any bushel of marihuana smuggled across our borders each day dwarfs any lucky federal finds. And, there appears to be no shortage of federal inspection officers capable of error or open to bribes. Have Rivkin and Casy bothered to calculate what would it cost our government to inspect all the laptops of the 400 million travelers who enter the US each year? And, what about the latest data storage devises like IPods that can store more information than 2 year old laptops but be smuggled inside a wallet.
Sovereignty is a political concept that current reality simply doesn’t recognize. A Nazi like regime can’t stop a pandemic from ravaging their nation and American seem incapable of kicking a dangerous addiction to foreign oil. An oil tanker filled with a fuel oil and fertilizer bomb could deliver a near nuclear sized detonation to any US port. And a biological weapon capable of killing more Americans than a limited nuclear exchange can be smuggle in the blood stream of any individual.
How do Rivkin and Casey propose ‘sovereignty’ will stop the effects of climate change or defend us against cyber attacks by those who know sovereignty is an outdated notion?
“The inspection” that “revealed approximately $79,000 in unlawful US currency” is a joke when one considers the hundreds of billions of unregulated currency that crosses our border each day by electronic currency trading and illegal electronic offshore deposits.

Only the dumbest of terrorist would try to carry something across our border that an inspector could find. What to Rivkin and Casey have to offer for the more creative terrorists? A wiji board? Lawyers like Rivkin and Casey may be good at understanding laws but they carry no credibility in dealing with the real world we all now live in.

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